Douglas Engelbart

Biography

Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (born January 30, 1925) is an American inventor and early computer pioneer.
He is best known for inventing the computer mouse,as a pioneer of human-computer interaction whose team developed hypertext, networked computers, and precursors to GUIs; and as a committed and vocal proponent of the development and use of computers and networks to help cope with the world’s increasingly urgent and complex problems.
His lab at SRI was responsible for more breakthrough innovation than possibly any other lab before or since. Engelbart had embedded in his lab a set of organizing principles, which he termed his "bootstrapping strategy", which he specifically designed to bootstrap and accelerate the rate of innovation achievable.

Engelbart was born in the U.S. state of Oregon on January 30, 1925 to Carl Louis Engelbart and Gladys Charlotte Amelia Munson Engelbart. He is of German, Swedish and Norwegian descent.
He was the middle of three children, with a sister Dorianne (3 years older), and a brother David (14 months younger). They lived in Portland in his early years, and moved to the countryside to a place called Johnson Creek when he was 9 or 10, after the death of his father. He graduated from Portland's Franklin High School in 1942. Midway through his college studies at Oregon State University (then called Oregon State College), just at the end of World War II, he was drafted into the Navy, serving two years as a radar technician in the Philippines. It was there on a small island in a tiny hut up on stilts that he first read Vannevar Bush's article "As We May Think", which greatly inspired him. He returned to Oregon State and completed his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1948, a B.Eng. from UC Berkeley in 1952, and a Ph.D. in EECS from UC Berkeley in 1955. While at Oregon State, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon social fraternity. As a graduate student at Berkeley he assisted in the construction of the California Digital Computer project CALDIC. His graduate work led to several patents[6]. After completing his PhD he stayed on at Berkeley to teach for a year, and left when it was clear he could not pursue his vision there. He then formed a startup, Digital Techniques, to commercialize some of his doctorate research on storage devices, but after a year decided instead to find a venue where he could pursue the research he had been dreaming of since 1951.

Because Engelbart's research and tool-development for online collaboration and interactive human-computer interfaces was partially funded by ARPA, SRI's ARC became involved with the ARPANET (the precursor of the Internet). On October 29, 1969, the world's first electronic computer network, the ARPANET, was established between nodes at Leonard Kleinrock's lab at UCLA and Engelbart's lab at SRI. Interface Message Processors at both sites served as the backbone of the first Internet.
In addition to SRI and UCLA, UCSB, and the University of Utah were part of the original four network nodes. By December 5, 1969, the entire 4-node network was connected. ARC soon became the first Network Information Center and thus managed the directory for connections among all ARPANET nodes. ARC also published a large percentage of the early Request For Comments, an ongoing series of publications that document the evolution of ARPANET/Internet.